Sir Walter Scott’s Castle

File these under research.

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Days of Wonder, Knights of Valour

Fe20171008_114131w things are more thrilling than our annual trip to the Indiana Renaissance Faire. It’s one of the highlights of October for us.

This year was no different.

We arrived early and got to listen to some fine music before the gates opened, with performances by Drunk & Sailor, Kilted Kings, Red Rum, Lute & Lady Lawson, and my personal favorite, Chaste Treasure, an a cappella trio that harmonized beautifully.

Once inside, we browsed around a bit before taking in the Rogue Blades featuring Dave the Knave, Sir James, and Squire Paul. It was a sword-fighting comedy stage show, family friendly and with plenty of audience participation. Well worth a look, over-all, but that’s not what we were there for.

It never is, at least for Conn and me.

When made our way back into the market, examining swords, capes, hand-crafted journals, and enough fantasy and medieval bric-a-brac to fill a moderately sized man cave.

This is the point when I generally regret the perpetual emptiness of my wallet. That feeling quickly passes though as soon as we make our way to the Lyst.

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Ah yes, the Knights of Valour Joust Troupe, our reason for traveling south. Shane Adams and Company always put on a great show. The warhorses are beautiful, the knights bold and fearless, and the host a charismatic showman.

I would go into more detail, but why when I can just show it to you —

Another amazing Ren Faire. Our fifth or sixth time, I think. Will we journey forth again next year? Possibly. We’ve discussed traveling even further south next year, for the Imaginarium Convention. We shall have to see how the dates align.

kofvI can assure you, however, that should we fail to attend, our hearts will be saddened. It won’t be the same if we are not to hear the Knights of Valour Battle Cry — “Helm Up and Charge On!”

Now, to our next order of business… Connor’s fourteenth birthday.

He arrived on the 9th of October, on Thor’s Day and Leif Eriksson Day, no less.

He is, as they say, a warrior born.

I know he has a future as a storyteller ahead of him, but I often times wonder if some sort of life wielding a sword might be waiting for him as well.

 

Bring me my broadsword…

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I posted the following on Occult Detective. It seems more than appropriate that it be shared here as well…

This morning we travel south, across the beautiful autumn kissed landscape of mythic Indiana, until we reach the sights and sounds of the ancient world reborn for us at Fishers Renaissance Faire.

It will be grand to be surrounded once more by minstrels, merchants and maidens fair, but we most long to hear once more the cacophony of broken lances and the roar of the crowd as the Knights of Valour demonstrate their tournament prowess.

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This has become an annual affair for us, one we so look forward to. That it so closely coincides with Connor’s birthday is an added bonus.

This will be a much needed escape from our daily troubles and the incessant grind of weighty real world matters. Immersing ourselves in the medieval realm of fantasy, our attention will be drawn instead to pomp and spectacle.

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I, for one, look forward to the joust and to perusing the weapon tents. Nothing better than holding a yard of well-crafted steel in one’s hand.

So, huzzah, my friends. Expect a full report when Leif Eriksson Day dawns…

An Update of sorts on Works in Progress

bordermenWe currently have three products in various stages of production. The most high profile of these is Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game. We have, once again, made several minor changes (and a couple of major ones) to the system. I will give a more thorough accounting of its progress on occultdetective.com at a later date. Suffice to say, we’re still thrilled with where the game’s headed. There are just a lot of eyes to dot.

Our next wave of playtesting begins Saturday, September 9th.

As for Blood & Honour, our card and dice game of swordplay, is, I suspect, 50-75% finished, if you can believe it. We have made a stylistic change, marrying it more closely to what is our third project, but the meat of the game is the same. Basically we’re down to developing the look of the game so that it is in line with our Veroldnar Campaign Setting.

Speaking of which, Drakkarsys: A Veroldnar Chronicles Campaign Setting is the third project of which we speak.

In November we’ll be launching a separate site where we will slowly roll out our 5th Edition Campaign Setting.

It will be free, for all intents and purposes. Donations will be welcome, of course, and there will be tie-in items that will come up for sale now and then (such as Blood & Honour), but for the most part, the Campaign Setting site will be a free to use DM and PC resource.

Drakkarsys Ad

The above image is just a ‘place-holding’ mock-up, but you get the idea. Veroldnar is an extension of our evolution in collaborative storytelling. Yes, it’s D&D (though can be adapted for any system), but its also a whole lot more.

But I won’t spoil any of it for you. The new site launches soon, so watch for updates here and on our twitter feed.

 

#RPGaDay Day 31: What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?

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Day 31: What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?

“Last day. Capricorn 15’s. Year of the city – 2274. Carousel begins.”

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Okay, it’s nothing quite so dramatic, but we have reached the “Last Day” of RPGaDay 2017. It has been a thrilling month and a project I’m always happy to take part in. With all the negativity out here in the wild wild web, it’s nice to be a part of Autocratik’s brilliant attempt to inject positivity into our hobby.

Before I dive into today’s final answer, I would like to thank Anthony Boyd aka Runeslinger for once again being a terrific host for the event. If you’re not subscribed to Anthony’s YouTube channel you’re really missing out on some really thoughtful RPG discussion, critique, and evaluation.

But enough of all that, let’s get down to the business of sending off RPGaDay properly. The final question, What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?, is a great end-cap and I’m going to share with you three things I’m really looking forward to next year.

NUMBER THREE

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While not exactly an RPG, I’m really looking forward to A Song of Ice & Fire: The Tabletop Miniatures Game hitting retail. It’s a game we backed via kickstarter and we’re excited to receive those rewards in April or so. We’re also looking forward to the release of more factions, units, and starter sets. But most of all, we’re just eager to play the game and to integrate it into what is my number two most anticipated part of gaming in 2018.

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NUMBER TWO

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Next year, I anticipate beginning a new D&D 5E campaign and utilizing A Song of Ice & Fire: The Tabletop Miniatures Game to help bring Drakkarsys v2.0 to life. Based on a sword & sorcery / epic fantasy series I’ve been noodling with — The Veroldnar Chronicles — this next campaign will, I believe, be my final campaign in Dungeons & Dragons.

No, I’m not giving the game up. I’m in my early 50s. I’m anticipating taking my 40 years of D&D experience and poring it all into this campaign that will carry me to the grave. And I hope that this world that my friends and I will be building together will live on beyond me, with the torch being carried forward by future generations of players.

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NUMBER ONE

bordermengames

The thing I’m most anticipating is getting Bordermen Games even further off the ground. With two games in various stages of production — Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game and Blood & Honour — Connor and I hope to make the push and get not one, but both out to the public, most likely via kickstarter.

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So, that’s it for 2017. I look forward to 2018 with great anticipation, not only for the top 3 things I’ve mentioned above, but for many more gaming-related marvels sure to rear their collective heads.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my contributions to this year’s RPGaDay. I know I’ve enjoyed many of yours and I look forward to trolling youtube catching up on many I missed.

Cheers.

#RPGaDay Day 30: What’s an RPG Mash-Up you’d like to see?

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Day 30: What’s an RPG Mash-Up you’d like to see?

A great question, and one my whole family had fun with. We discussed this at length last night before bed. Kim liked the idea of mixing History and Time Travel, while Connor liked the History idea, but with players assuming the roles of aliens visiting Earth throughout various points in time — sort of an Ancient Astronauts spin from the aliens’ perspective.

Both are great ideas. Mine ran a little closer to my comfort zone. It’s actually one I’ve had the idea for since the early 80s — a game/campaign centered around Bards.

Imagine, if you will, a Mummer’s Wagon pulling into a medieval-inspired village, the sides folding down to form a stage where this traveling troupe of roguish minstrels performed for rousing crowds.

Oh what adventures they could stumble upon. See, my model for just such an act is tailor-made for such proclivities. They were notorious raiders, infamous musicians of the highest caliber, and performed songs inspired by Lord of the Rings, Folklore, and Myth.

My RPG Mash-up is Tolkien-esque Fantasy and Led Zeppelin.

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I can’t believe we’re just one day away from RPGaDay 2017 coming to a close. It’s been a great month so far. Here’s to ending it on a high note.

Cheers — and Ramble On…